Meet hedgewitch Cornelia Llama, who has devoted her life to the service of kratom.
Welcome to our little corner of the kratom jungle. My friends call me "C" and "Magick" and I do what I do because I have so much love in my heart for this plant. We have been in each other's lives for eleven years. That's when I had a huge turn in the tides of my heart, and left the world of OxyContin and Adderall behind for a simpler, more natural way of living.
Although I changed my life on my own terms and without any botanical intervention, cannabis and kratom quickly filled the emptiness that had a long history of luring me into lurid depths. I also found comfort and relief in these magickal trees for complications from a 2004 high speed motor vehicle collision after which I was taking upward of 300mg of OxyContin daily.
It is not an exaggeration to say this plant has changed my life. The powerful transformation she's wrought inside my heart and within my body, down to the very core of my being, is nothing short of a miracle. Although I never set out to become a kratom farmer, it just happened because my love for this plant runs so deep, and she truly loves me back.
For the last eleven years I've dedicated myself to making the world a better place through the magick of medicinal plants. I'm an eleven year member of the Oregon Farm Bureau, and I started my hands-on agricultural career in 2009 in the cannabis industry, eventually growing medical marijuana for the State of Oregon.
Season after season I grew huge seed-sown trees in six foot holes, pollinating, crossing genetics, and sleeping under the stars in a green and purple forest of magickal giants. I learned so much about plant magick from the old wizard growers, who gently and kindly taught me their ways, and I deepened my connection with nature in manners both subtle and profound.
For years amist all this cannabis cultivation, I wondered about growing kratom ----- like a squeaky wheel in the back of mind, begging for attention ----- but I wasn't sure where to start. When I finally began to investigate, I quickly noticed the kind of resources available to the cannabis community were completely absent from the kratom community. I also noticed a surprising lack of genetic diversity. I knew seeds were the answer.
I wandered into some online groups, asking anyone and everyone for kratom seeds. When I finally got some that worked I was so excited. I also simultaneously ordered three clones, from a different source, who said only old plants have alkaloids, and claimed they were three separate strains.
I only learned later that good kratom can have export worthy alkaloid levels at less than a year of age, kratom "strains" are creations of man that don't designate varieties of plants but styles of curing, and the seed pods I bought weren't pods at all, but tiny individual kernels loosened and separated from a pod ---- basically one fiftieth of a pod. And those old clone lines I bought into? Tests are now revealing they're mitragynine bankrupt. Especially the "Bumblebee." But how was I to know? There were no formal avenues of education on the subject.
If my kratom growing story were The Wizard of Oz, right around the time the flying monkeys take Dorothy into the forest, I discovered the clones brought an infestation of spider mites into my grow, killing two of the three cuttings, and eventually infesting my whole first run of seedlings, devastating the crop. I lost so much hard work, so much money. And my heart broke.
The mite dappling was visible on the clones I bought from the very start, and the first few leaves I dried had mites and mite eggs stuck to the bottom --- evidence I could later see when looking back at the first photos I took --- but as an outdoor gardener I'd never dealt with big spider mite issues (it's largely an indoor growing problem) and I didn't realize what I was looking at until it was too late.
With the support of my colleague David Winkler, I made the painful decision to throw out all the infested plants. I bought new tents. New soil. New pots.... and most important, kept hunting seeds. I called on favors from old college friends teaching English in southeast Asia, and boy did we hit the genetic motherlode. I was also able to source a massive cache of genetic material from kratom plantation workers in South America and more from elsewhere in the world.
Meanwhile David was doing the same kind of thing on the other side of the continent, and it was from these connections and our inspired time of coming together that we chanced upon some really incredible genetics, and began growing an absurdly immense number of plants to isolate the ones that best thrive in America.
Although some things I learned the hard way, most things I learned because I love this plant so much I choose to spend almost every waking minute of my life serving her. But I do wish I had known when I started growing everything I know now. What a difference a scope would have made when those clones first arrived! But if I'd been clued in to the big kratom myths in advance, I never would have bought the clones in the first place. Imagine if I could have found a website with a lot of the answers when I first got started. And healthy genetically diverse plants. And techniques for growing! I would have saved myself so much time, money and heartache.
This is my great hope for Magick Powers Potions ---- that it can be a bastion of knowledge and learning in honor of the species that has changed my life.
I hope my successes and failures can help pave the way for a more beautiful, honest and genetically diverse future for American kratom. I am honored to share my knowledge, mistakes, and deep and loving heart with you and all these utterly magickal plants.
It is my way of serving the Goddess.